BUSKERS BOUTIQUE, Old Boy’s Theatre, Christ’s College, Christchurch

18/01/2018 - 27/01/2018


Production Details

This show has been on our radar for three years and it is now the perfect time to unleash this hilarious, genius, genre-defying and totally unique theatrical experience on our audiences.

Think it’s a solo show? Think again. Private eye Butt Kapinski invites you to co-star in a film noir murder mystery. Join Butt in a seedy world of sex, sin, shadows and subterfuge as you take the ride of a full-on interactive comedic experience. Kick reality to the curb! Play in a world of dark dreams and bad similes.

“This is immersive comedy like you have never experienced, and we love it.” The Scotsman

“Not just a show; it could be a new type of theatre.” GlamAdelaide.com.au

“An absolute delight for the already perverted.” The Advertiser

Buskers Boutique Theatre at Christ’s College
18 – 27 January 2018 

Theatre , Comedy ,

55 mins

Impressive audience manipulation, encouragement and orchestration

Review by Erin Harrington 19th Jan 2018

Butt Kapinski (US-based improviser and theatre maker Deanna Flysher), a sallow-faced private dick with hollow eyes, a paunch and a profound speech impediment, is going to help us all star in a seedy film noir – or “fiwm nwow”.

We sit in relative darkness, closely and haphazardly in the round, while Kapinski stalks through, between and over us, offering hard-boiled narration marked with tangled pronunciations, the only source of light a street lamp strapped to his back. It’s a terrific image. 

The show is a bonkers chiaroscuro hall of mirrors where the audience explores the existential grey area between good and evil, and right and wrong. This experience is participatory in nature, which would usually turn some audience members’ bowels to water, but here we are all a part of, and complicit in, the story (and the crime – “moidor!”), whether we are making the sound of rain, pretending to be blood spatter or tortured skylines, or awkwardly responding to Kapinski’s interrogations and provocations.

All entertainment factors aside, it’s one of many ways that the thematic interests and tensions of noir, including the push-pull between claustrophobia and urban isolation, become a genuine part of the show’s texture.

It’s also outrageously funny, and a gorgeous grab bag of noir tropes and characters. I’m weeping and hiccupping with laughter near the end. I’m normally wary when publicity material describes a show as a theatre experience like no other, but in this case it’s really true.

From a nerdy dramaturgical point of view, this is a fascinating show. Beyond the skillful character and vocal work, the inventive narrative structure and the improvisation that goes into fleshing out the shady underworld of the Big City, it relies enormously on audience buy in and participation. I’m deeply impressed with how Flysher manipulates, encourages and orchestrates us, even if a few wobbly moments that might lose the audience still slip through.  

We are promised that, like any good film noir, there’ll be a twist, and there is, although it’s an unexpected twist, which I guess is the point, at which point I become confused: has the show gone off the rails? Do we need, and does the show require, a clear narrative arc? Am I okay that we’ve ended up in some kind of meta-theatrical space? Have we been further manipulated by Flysher? I think we have, but maybe it’s a mystery that only Butt Kapinski can solve – and so it goes again. I’ll certainly be going back for the sequel. Cue hot brass. 


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